What Are Pocket Listings and How Do They Affect Home Buyers and Sellers?


With Rochester, MN on the rise there are many things to consider when buying or selling your home. Local Realtors are deploying different tactics and strategies to help close homes quickly and for a price that makes their clients happy. One tactic we are seeing more of in the Rochester, MN real estate market are pocket listings. If you are considering the option of buying or selling a pocket listing here’s what you need to know:

What is a pocket listing?

A pocket listing, or coming soon listing, is a real estate industry term used when a Realtor has a signed listing agreement with a home owner but does not advertise the listing publicly. This type of listing will never be posted on the MLS or other listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Both buyers and sellers need to be aware of the pros and cons of pocket listings before signing a listing agreement.

When is pocket listing a good fit for sellers and when is it not?

Sellers should be aware of the pros and cons when considering if a pocket listing is a good fit. If you’re wanting to sell your home, here are things to think about when considering a pocket listing.

Pocket listings are a great fit for sellers when:

  • You don’t want a lot of showings at your home. Pocket listings may only have 2 or 3 showings before offers are made.
  • You want to be selective with who knows your home is for sale. A seller may not want their neighbors or kids to know their home is for sale until it has sold. Pocket listings allow for that privacy.
  • You trust your Realtor to deliver you the highest value possible. A Realtor’s experience and current clientele have a huge impact on getting you a fair price for your home.

Pocket listings are not a great fit for sellers when:

  • You want to increase the demand and value of your home. The only real way to know the value of your home is to let buyers compete for it. Buyer competition, economic conditions, and other factors can have a big impact on your sale price. The best way to find out what your home’s true value is to give it the exposure it deserves.
  • You don’t care who knows your home is for sale. If you’re okay with your home being shown 5, 10, 15 times or more, then you want your home to be listed everywhere that is possible.
  • You want every Realtor to have an opportunity to sell your home. Technology has made access to listings easy for buyers. With a few clicks a buyer can have a list of every home for sale in the area. From this they can pick and choose which homes they want to see when they meet with their Realtor next. If your home isn’t listed online, prospective buyers don’t get an opportunity to see and potentially buy your home.

How do pocket listings affect buyers?

Sellers aren’t the only ones that need to think about how a pocket listing can impact their home. If you’re looking to buy a home, here are a few things you can discuss with your qualified Realtor before exploring your Realtor’s pocket listings.

Pocket listings can benefit you as a buyer in these ways:

  • There would be less competition on a property, lowering your chances of having to outbid someone or be outbid yourself.
  • Pocket listings may offer good deals. Sometimes sellers want to move their home quickly, while still remaining private with their listing.

Pocket listings can cost you as a buyer in these ways:

  • Your Realtor is not qualified or trustworthy. There is a fine line to walk when a Realtor handles a pocket listing. If both the buyer and seller are represented by the same person, there could be conflict of interest issues.
  • Being unaware of a home’s availability. If your Realtor doesn’t have the pocket listing, it will be difficult for you to find out if a house is even available for sale. This could prevent you, the buyer, from finding the home that fits you best.

What does the Lori Reinalda Team think about pocket listings?

Realtors are bound to a code of ethics provided by the National Association of Realtor’s. Article 1 outlines that Realtors remain obligated to treat all parties honestly and promote the best interests for their clients. We think there are times when pocket listings make sense and when they don’t. We will always recommend and provide guidance that stays within the lines of the Realtor Code of Ethics and has your best interests in mind.

Contact Lori if you’d like to learn more about what options would be best for you.